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Summer in NYC is prime time to catch and miss some of the very best bands around, many of which you may not have heard of. That’s why I’m bummed and happy all at once. Apparently Jonny Kaplan and The Lazy Stars, which includes Rami Jaffee from The Wallflowers AND Adam MacDougall from The Black Crowes, played a midnight show at the Living Room on the Lower East Side. They probably didn’t intend to be all sneaky about the show, but in summer Manhattan venues have to speak a little louder to compete with the free-ish outdoor shows in Brooklyn. The good news is that they have a new album coming out October 8th, Sparkle and Shine, so maybe they’ll be back in NYC just before our WTF October storm of 2013 hits.

We had a blizzard in 2011 and a hurricane in 2012. I’m thinking nature owes us something fuzzy this year, like a hummingbird symphony or a frozen river so we can all skate under the Brooklyn Bridge.

While it’s top of mind, go check out the title track at American Song Writer and join me in asking the universe why this band isn’t bigger. Specifically, big enough to know when they’re coming to town, but not stadium big because those seats aren’t comfy. When they do come again let’s hope they play the Bowery Ballroom, Bell House, Littlefield or The Rock Shop. Maybe they’ll even play at the bandshell for Celebrate Brooklyn next year. …

Last night we did catch They Might Be Giants at the Park Slope Bandshell. Others disagree, but I was confused. Their energy was higher for the kiddy songs and some of the new stuff, but the old songs I loved in the 90s lacked. Half the people I went with are in bands of some kind and they commented that playing new work is inherently more exciting so it’s bound to sound better. As a fan, I know my bands aren’t at my service, and of course they’re not expected to play only their hits, but they have to know when the audience is waiting for a certain song or two. They have to feel the energy coming at them when they play some of their hits, so to not return that energy sort of stings. We still had a good time though.

Moon Hooch opened for TMG, and they sounded ridiculously fantastic. Think horns and drums that say, “Hey grownup boys and girls sneaking beer and wine, let’s dance.”

While Celebrate Brooklyn is closing shop for the season tonight, there’s still outdoor fun to be had this month. Go see the Coney Island Cyclones soon as their season is coming to a close as well. Tickets are $9-14 and the stadium is right off the boardwalk and easy to get to via subway. If you drive, park a distance from the field as these players love to hit backwards fly balls.

coney island cyclones

Coney Island Cyclones